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Belfast Exposed Photography: REPLICATIONS : Neil Hamon and Edwin Zwakman - 5 Dec 2008 to 31 Jan 2009

Current Exhibition

5 Dec 2008 to 31 Jan 2009
Gallery open Tuesday to Saturday – 11am to 5pm
Exhibition Opening 4 December, 7-9pm
Belfast Exposed Photography
The Exchange Place
23 Donegall Street
United Kingdom
p: 44 028 9023 1606

Neil Hamon, Invasion, still from film.
Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Leme.
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Belfast Exposed Photography

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Artists in this exhibition: Neil Hamon, Edwin Zwakman

An exhibition by Neil Hamon and Edwin Zwakman

5 December to 31 January 2009
Exhibition Opening 4 December, 7-9pm

The replication of life through images has taken a decisive turn in our time: images have become hypnotic, they seem to simulate everything. Reality itself bends in front of the camera in search of a mirror, an enduring life beyond its everyday function. This exhibition looks at the process of replication, imitation and reproduction inherent in photography drawing parallels with other ways of ‘mocking up’ reality, including model making, taxidermy and historical re-enactment. The two artists featured in the exhibition point their cameras towards a constructed reality overlapped with its own replicas. They carefully lead the viewer to a point which lies somewhere between fiction and reality, thus bringing into question the verisimilitude of photographic images and the many ways in which we attempt to arrest time.

Based on solid research and meticulous reconstruction, the works of London-based Neil Hamon investigate our relationship with loss and the lure of fictional replication as an attempt to overcome it. In Living History he presents a series of portraits of members of military re-enactment societies. To each of these dramas, focused on a particular war, Hamon carefully applies the photographic texture of the time – sepia for World War I, black and white and hand tinted for World War II, colour for Vietnam. Hamon’s photographs are displayed in close proximity to sculptures and found taxidermized animals, bringing into question the aims behind processes such as photography, taxidermy and historical re-enactment that lay claim to being faithful reproductions of the real. Featured in the exhibition are also two video works. In Bletchley Park Hamon stages a disconcertingly ordinary scene in a place widely described in espionage tales, while Invasion playfully appropriates the black and white version and 1970s remake of the cult film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

For the last decade, Dutch artist Edwin Zwakman has been constructing sprawling models of imagined places on the floor of his studio. These models are then lit, photographed and printed in very large format, resulting in images which are momentarily exchangeable with real architectures and urban scenes. A pile of boxes, a kitchen table covered in the remnants of breakfast, aerial views of backyards in a suburban street; they all appear familiar enough. Zwakman employs mostly simple materials to render these places believable: cardboard and cotton wool, cellophane, tinfoil. With exacting patience he describes one house at a time, adding a barbeque, a washing line, a patch of lawn to a continuously expanding model. Half-map, half-topography; these models function as valid descriptions of the world’s surface while not aspiring to fool the viewer. They are recognisable as real places as well as simulations however, leading us to consider the standardisation of the spaces in which we live and the overlayering in them of social and individual aspirations.

Neil Hamon (b. 1975, Jersey) received a MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 2002. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including Six Feet Under (Bern/Dresden, 2006/07), When We Build Let Us Think That We Build Forever (Baltic, Newcastle, 2007) and Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind (curated by Robert Storr, 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007)

Edwin Zwakman (b. 1969, The Hague) graduated from Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam in 1993 and has since published and exhibited widely, both in Holland and internationally. Recent exhibitions include L’Esprit du Nord (Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, 2006), Spectacular City (Rotterdam/Düsseldorf, 2007) and Fake but Accurate (Gimpel Fils, London, 2005 and Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, 2008). Zwakman is recipient of a Lever Hulme Fellowship at the University of Derby.

Replications is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

Breakfast with the artists, Fri 5 Dec at 11am - Free event
Join Neil Hamon and Edwin Zwakman for breakfast and conversation as they discuss their works featured in Replications, with Belfast Exposed Curator Monica Nunez.

Book launch & signing with Edwin Zwakman, Fri 5 Dec at 12pm - Free Event
Announcing Zwakman’s new publication 'Fake But Accurate'.

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